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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 43 - 12th january 2018

From the Headmaster:

I do hope that you all had a most enjoyable Christmas and a peaceful start to the New Year. Judging by the energy levels exhibited by the children, they have clearly enjoyed their break.

As you can see from the images, the children have enjoyed plenty of time outdoors, whether it be monster hunting or preparing a camp fire. We are fortunate to enjoy so many opportunities to take our learning into different environments.

This was very much the theme of a Heads conference I attended on Thursday and Friday. As well as making very useful links with many other schools and colleagues we listened to the latest thoughts from Professor Bill Lucas and his team at Winchester University about attributes and teaching perseverance, resilience and grit. Perhaps most interesting was the concept of '21st Century learning skills.' When he showed an image of what skills are apparently needed in the 21st Century next to a slide from an 1859 curriculum book with exactly the same skills it shows that the skills we want for our children such as resilience and perseverance aren't restricted to any century. I will write with more details about the conference in the next edition.

Much to look forward to this term. Various parent social events and a wide range of inter house competitions. Do please refer to the website to update your calendar.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair

Growing Microcobes

Whilst it is perhaps the season for various bugs and nasties and there is little need to grow any more, but the Year 3 and Year 4 children are conducting a rather interesting experiment, on they started on Thursday.

Using Agaragar gel and petri dishes, the children, using a cotton bud dipped in distilled water swabbed various places around the school to collect bacteria. These locations included the door handle, floor, pencil and sink area to name but a few. These buds were then dipped into the gel and sealed. The second experiment involved the children wiping their hands on bread; one washed pair of hands, one unwashed and one wiped on the floor before being wiped on the bread. The children made predictions on which dish or bread would have the most microbes or least and more importantly why.

We shall keep you updated...

Adventure School

Things got off to a 'blazing' start this term with children understanding how to prepare a camp fire.

As you can see from the images, the children collected the firewood, stripping it back to get to the dry wood and then building the pyramid. Cotton wool with a smear of vaseline acted as the tinder and then the wood as the kindling to then build. Plenty of marshmallows and fruit sticks were on hand to then toast over their respective fire.

Next week, the children will explore alternative methods and understand how to use a Trangia to prepare food in advance of their next expedition.

Do please ensure that your child is wearing games kit and warm clothing for Adventure School, we will be spending time outdoors in all weather.

Information from the Year Groups

Year 3 and Year 4 - We have had a very busy, exciting week in Year 3 and 4. In Adventure School we learnt how to safely make a fire in the woods. Looking carefully for the correct materials to help the fire succeed and the safety aspects associated with it. We also had a sneaky marshmallow cooked over our own fires as a starting introduction to cooking outside.

In Mathematics we have been learning about the decimal place in tenths and what it means in relation to fractions. In English we have enjoyed learning about similes and metaphors to enhance our descriptive writing. In Computing we have been learning about Pages and the incredible functions we can access beyond simple word processing, from voice notes to annotations.

Year 2 - Year 2 have started the new year strongly and this week Year 2 have been working very hard and have completed some very good work. In mathematics, we have been learning all about comparing numbers, from comparing the size of them, ordering them, rounding them, and estimating answers. In English, the children have begun their work on fantasy stories and have designed dragons in art which they are describing to start off their stories. Science this term is all about materials. This week, we focused on what they can be used for and why they are suited to that role. They sorted them according to properties and then designed something that could be made using their selected material.

Year 1 - Fox class have been exceptionally impressive this week. A great start and lots of house points earned .

On our first day back we received a wonderful surprise parcel full of letters from Father Christmas thanking us for the letters we sent last term, how exciting.

We began a new topic - house and homes ...

We have begun to look closely at traditional tales.

This week we looked at Cinderella, sequenced the story and wrote Wanted posters so that Prince Charming could find his beloved. The children have been studying the geography of the school and our local area looking at the types of houses and their features. We were fascinated by the original features that we discovered such as boot scrapers and gothic door and window arches.

Back at school we compiled our photographs into a design book on the iPads and began to design 3D houses using recycled materials. We learnt the commutative law of addition and have been creating patterns using 2D shapes.

Reception - Reception have had a great week getting back into our routine. This week we changed our role play areas into a greengrocers and a pizzaria. We had great fun using the flour and making our own cake mixtures and pizzas. In Woodlands School we went on a monster hunt where we found clues along the way that the monster droppped after visiting our school!

Next week, the children are looking forward to their outing into Kingston Market to purchase a fruit or vegetable to eat for snack the next day.

Second Steps - Happy New Year and welcome back! Second Steps have had a great week back. We have been learning about growth. We created a height chart by drawing over our feet, painted them and put numbers on each foot. We then measure our height! We have also started growing cress using cotton wool. We have started Georgie’s Gym on a Tuesday, here we focus on phonics and P.E. Second Steps children have been doing lots of singing this week and playing different musical instruments. Outdoors, we have been exploring nature and collecting items and placing the quantity next to the numeracy. Great first week back!

First Steps - Welcome back and a Happy New Year to you all. We would like to take this chance to welcome Raven Chan to First Steps.

Our first week back we have enjoyed turning our home corner into an airport. Creating passports and packing our suitcases to go on our travels. The children have been doing a lot of role play, lining up the chairs pretending they are on a train, taking turns being the driver and making tickets to show the ticket inspector.

First steps have been discovering different patterns using the small cars, rolling them in paint and pushing them across large sheets of paper. As part of our transport project we have been listening to & learning the letter sounds of different vehicles; as b for bus, t for train, c for car and h for helicopter plus many more.

We had great fun singing with Mrs Baillie and taking turns singing solos & learning new songs.

We would like to extended our creativity by making our own junk model vehicles. It would be great if you could donate any junk modelling materials such as boxes (any size), kitchen roll tubes, lids, yoghurt pots, empty plastic bottles etc.

Thank you.

Drop off and Collection Arrangements

The side gate is open each day from 8.00am - 8.05am for early bird drop off. It will then be opened again from 8.15am - 8.30am for drop off, and 3.30pm - 3.40pm for collection. Early bird drop off is for children only and you should leave your children with the member of staff on duty.

If you are running late, please inform Mrs Blower so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Breakfast Club

In order to ensure we can obtain accurate numbers for Breakfast Club each day we have adapted the form currently used to book a place for the after school club. If you wish to apply for a place for breakfast club for the next day or coming week, these requests can be accommodated up to 2pm each day, with the form being taken off line at 2pm to ensure we can make the necessary arrangements. These bookings will need to be made each week and will be 'online' from 3pm each Friday afternoon for the consecutive week.

Second Hand Uniform

For your information, we are no longer hosting sales. If you wish to request some second hand uniform please complete the Google Form:

Website

We are in the process of developing a new website. We are hoping to reveal our new site in January 2018.

The grid calendar is back up and running, although we are still trying to publish 2018-2019 term dates and remove the 2016-2017, however they are in the grid calendar.

Parking

Please help us maintain the very best relationships with our neighbours by not blocking or parking in their drives when dropping off or collecting your children.

Please do not park on the yellow chevrons directly in front of the school or across driveways for the safety of all of our children.

Woodland School

Could I ask that you ensure that waterproof trousers, Wellington boots and coats are brought into school on the relevant day (regardless of the forecast) so that we maximise our use of Richmond Park.

Certificate Winners -

Certificate Winners
Ballet Certificates

After School Activities

Please note: all activities, clubs (including after- school and breakfast clubs and trips) will be charged through schoolmoney.

Spring Term club choices-

Credits:

Alistair Bond

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